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Archive for November, 2006

In unhealthy relationships, what we are fighting about is never really what we’re fighting about.  That argument over which way the toilet paper hangs is probably more about a “meta” issue:   power, balance, control and unresolved issues with others in our lives (usually our early caretakers).

In order to break the “let’s fight about everything and nothing” mode, it’s important to choose your battles…to ask how important is this? is this what I’m really fighting about?  and to figure out what this particular battle reminds you of (some un-won battle in childhood/adolescence?).  Start to step back and see what you’re fighting about and when and then decide:  Is this really worth it?  Do I really care about this? 

 Sometimes when we step back the other person “ups the ante.”  After all, they have a stake in the ridiculous fight as well and haven’t made a commitment to changing anything.  You may well be drawn back into it because the other person has figured out how to “hook” you back in. 

It takes practice but watch for the hooks and remain committed to not fighting about stupid things.

  Journal about your feelings when you’re not fighting…what is coming up for you?  Probably a lot of discomfort.

  Let that be okay.

  Write about it and you may discover what all this “nothing” is really all about.

Susan J. Elliott 11/06

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“Identity is the antidote for enmeshment.”  – Terry Kellogg

I read this quote a long time ago when I was overly enmeshed with an unhealthy, abusive person and had no identity of my own. (more…)

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Boundaries

I get more email and questions in class about boundaries than just about any thing else. So I will try to post about boundaries every few weeks….but send any questions to me and I’ll answer them.Boundaries simply say, “I begin and end one place and you begin and end another place.”

(more…)

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As many of you know, I am a lawyer, a therapist, a motivational speaker, an author and a teacher.  I also am a licensed real estate broker. Once a month or so I send out a newsletter for Getting Past Your Past that answers questions, gives tips and shares different sections of the How To Get Past Your Past program that I teach here in New York City.Well, I work on the newsletter a lot, answer a lot of email (mostly personal situations), work on the book and sometimes write articles and other things.  Oh yeah, and I'm a lawyer for a large international law firm, I help people buy and sell real estate in New York City, I have a large family and I occasionally sleep.

So because the newsletter and email correspondence can fall by the wayside or the newsletter never looks "ready" enough for me, I have created this blog so I can interact every day with students, readers and those who keep in touch.  Many times I get the same questions in email from different people so this will facilitate some of those answers.

I won't publish your name (of course!) but feel continue to feel free to write me in email and I will answer on the blog. 

I think this will alleviate the late publishing of the newsletter and my drive for perfection when I do publish it.  What I normally would put in the newsletter I am now going to put on the blog. 

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